fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",000,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "UNITED NATIONS OFFICE" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2014 11:28:44 -0400
Subject: UNITED NATIONS SCAM VICTIMS COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS.
UNITED NATIONS SCAM VICTIMS COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS.
>From Mrs.Inga-Britt Ahlenius.
This is to bring to your notice that I am delegated from the United Nations To
Central Bank to pay 150 scam victims $5,000,000.00 (FIVE MILLION UNITED STATE
You are listed and approved for this payment as one of the scammed victims to
be paid this amount, get back to me as soon as possible for the immediate
payments of your $5,000,000.00 compensations funds.
On this faithful recommendations,we want you to know that during the last U.N.
meetings held at Abuja, Nigeria, it was alarmed so much by the world in the
meetings on the lose of funds by various individuals to the scams artists
operating in syndicates all over the world today.
In other to compensate victims, the U.N Body in conjunction with the Nigerian
Government is now paying 150 victims of this operators $5,000,000.00 each in
accordance with the U.N. recommendations.
Due to the corrupt and inefficient Banking Systems in Nigeria, the payments
are to be supervised by the United Nations' Officials and the Central Bank of
Nigeria as the corresponding paying bank United Bank Of Africa.
According to the number of applicants at hand, 114 Beneficiaries has been
paid, half of the victims are from the United States, we still have more 36
left to be paid the compensations of $5,000,000.00 each.
Your particulars was mentioned by one of the Syndicates who was arrested as
one of their victims of the operations, you are hereby warned not to
communicate or duplicate this message to him for any reason what so ever as
the U.S. secret service is already on trace of the other criminals.
Other victims who have not been contacted can submit their application as well
for scrutiny and possible consideration.
You are thereby advised to contact the private officer of the United Bank Of
Africa in Nigeria through the following information.
Name......................... Ego Bia
You will receive your compensations payments through ATM VISA CARD PAYMENT
You will be detailed with the modalities as you contact the private officer of
the United Bank Of Africa